Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Wasteful Society

The journey to simplicity is often about the small decisions we make every day. And our daily lives are full of waste. Too often, we are wasteful because it’s convenient, and because we can.

Did you know that 5% of the world’s population lives in the US, yet we produce 50% of the world’s waste?

Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz, & you will probably find that there aren’t enough resources on the planet for everyone to live like we do. We buy too much, we use too much water & energy and we throw too much in the landfill.

Here are my Top 5 small daily changes that make a difference.
  • Recycle - Recycling a 6-ft stack of newspapers saves the life of a 35 ft tall tree.
  • Share & Swap –Trade things like magazines, gift bags & clothes.
  • Bring your own cloth grocery bags for all types of shopping. You won’t believe how sturdy they are.
  • Cloth napkins & dishtowels instead of paper towels – Plus, it makes you feel special every day.
  • Repurpose Creatively - Wrap gifts in newspaper, turn gift bags into notecards, & use paper scraps for grocery lists. Just this month, Martha featured gifts wrapped in old maps.

  • These are just a few ideas. The possibilities are endless. For more ideas, visit or Green Learning. >carrie.


    Sarah said...

    david & i take the cloth bags and find that they hold a ton of groceries and are easier to carry with handles that go over the shoulder...also, if only buying one or two things and forgot your bag?---carry them out without a bag!

    david said...

    Excellent practical advice.
    I recently read that if the rest of the world were as wasteful as Americans, it would take three more earths to support the population.
    I've spoken with at least two people who have visited the U.S. from India, both of whom were quick to point out how wasteful Americans are.
    That's a sad commentary on our society.

    Jana said...

    i took the eco quiz a few months ago and scored a 14. yikes! but at least that's at the low end of the average american footprint of 24, right?!

    Zane said...

    David and Sarah...where did y'all get your cloth grocery bags? I want some! Z

    Carrie, The Modern Housewife said...

    I'll bet that tote bags abound at the thrift store. That would be where I'd go first, in the spirit of not adding more "stuff" into the world. Secondly, you can buy them at or I'm sure Wild Oats. Mine are all hand-me-downs, or the "free gift with purchase" variety.

    Sarah said...

    All of our bags were ones we found around the house and include beach bags and free tote bags from david's work.

    Sarah said...

    Today, May 18th, on the Cool People Care website, they encouraged peole to go "topless" when referring to your fast food/ coffee drinks. Say "no" to lids and straws when applicable to prevent waste!